Chinese on the cheap

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, the day that we scare off the ghosts and celebrate luck, welfare and success. In my family we always exchange red envelopes with yellow coins inside. Red is supposed to scare the ghosts away and yellow brings luck. We celebrate this with a big Chinese dinner party at my parent’s home or in a restaurant. With lots of Chinese food off course. Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? And if so, do you eat Chinese on Chinese New Year? If yes, here are some of my favorite no frills Chinese spots on the cheap that you might consider: 

Cafe China New York

1. Cafe China (13 East 37th street, between 5th avenue and Madisson avenue. Midtown East). $$

To my knowledge, this authentic Sichuan restaurant is the only Michelin-star restaurant where you can have a two course meal for less than $10 (11.30 am -3 pm Monday- Friday). If you like spicy, order the Tree pepper chicken, Spicy Cumin Lamb or Ma Po Tofu and Pork Dumplings on the side. If you’re not into spicy, have some Tea Smoked Duck, Kung Pao Chicken or Chinese Broccoli. 

Cafe China New York

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10 places in Korea Town

Like an abundance of noodle bars, there is also an abundance of Korean (BBQ) restaurants in New York City. A lot of them are located in Korea Town, centered around 32nd street between 5th and 6th avenue. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much Korean restaurants concentrated in one area outside Korea. If you are in Koreatown and don’t have a clue which one to visit, here are some places you might consider:

1. New Wonjo (23 West 32nd street, between 5th and 6th Avenue). $$

My favorite for Korean BBQ. Order: Scallion Pancake, A BBQ- Combo.

KoreaTown New York

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20 Big Apple Sandwiches worth eating

Sandwiches New York

One thing I noticed immediately the first time I visited New York, was the habit to buy sandwiches every morning for breakfast or afternoon for brunch. From plumber to  policemen to businessmen, I noticed that basically everyone was buying their sandwich. Not a very common thing (yet) in Amsterdam, where I used to make my own sandwich every morning and take them to the office in a plastic lunchbox.

Anyway, since I think that most Big Apple sandwiches from the sandwich place (with multiple thick layers of cheese or meat) are way better than my own-homemade (single layer of cheese or meat) sandwich I took over this habit and stared buying my sandwich outside instead of making my own homemade sandwich. Consequently, I tried out many different sandwiches from various places in Manhattan. I am mostly familiar with the sandwiches available in the Lower East Side, West Village and Midtown West/ Hell’s Kitchen. Because that’s the area where I had most of my breakfast- and lunch breaks.

I did not discover that many yummy sandwich places in other neigbourhoods yet and there are still an uncountable number of sandwiches still to discover yet. That’s right, I am reaaaallly interested in more insider tips :). 

But here some sandwich places that I think are worth a visit during breakfast time or at your daily lunch break: 

Lower East Side

1. Tiny’s little giant sandwich shop

(129 Rivington  street, between Essex and Norfolk street. Lower East Side)

For indeed. Giant Sandwiches in a small cozy cafe. Check out more of my Lower East Side Favorites here

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop New York Lower East Side

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop New York Lower East Side

2. Cheeky Sandwiches 

(35 Orchard street., between Canal street and Hester street. Lower East Side)

 A cute little sandwich shop serving the best fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits in town.

Cheeky Sandwiches Lower East Side New York

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Pig and Khao

PIG AND KHAO (68 Clinton street, between Stanton street and Rivington street. Lower East Side). $$$

For those who are into something less ordinary, there is Pig and Khao. A hipster Filipino and Thai fusion restaurant serving some family style dishes that I had never eaten before.

We started with a Coconut ($8) and some salads. A Green Mango Salad (charred chicken, lemongrass, mint, coriander, cashew, dried shrimp. $13) and some squid salad. Both salads were light and fresh.

Pig and Khao New York Lower East Side

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3 x Hotpot

Hotpot is something I’d like to eat when the weather is cold. And because the weather cooled off rapidly , I thought it would be a good time to eat hotpot again. Here my top 3 favorite hotpot spots in New York City (in random order):

HOU YI HOTPOT (112 Eldridge street at Hester street. Chinatown) $$

Like most of the restaurants in Chinatown, this place has a lack of ambiance. But the best thing about Hou Yi is it’s all you can eat concept. For $30 you can eat as much fish balls,meat, tofu, vegetables and ice cream as you want. And drink as much as you can. Within a 2 hours time frame. There are many hotpot ingredients to choose from, so I am sure there must be something you like. And the broth is very tasty. Thus is you have big appetite, the all you can eat hotpot at Hou Yi is definitely worth the 30 bucks. 

Hou Yi Hot Pot New York Chinatown

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Noodles @ Menkui Tei

MENKUI TEI (60 West 56th street. Between 5th and 6th Avenue. Midtown East). €

I haven’t been eating ramen for a while and was pretty excited to try out the ramen at this spot. Menkui Tei! This ramen restaurant didn’t have the long wait like most of its competitor noodle bars have and the restaurant was pretty much empty. Perhaps it had anything to do with the outdated decor? Anyway. I just hoped it had anything to do with the noodles.

Mekui Tei New York

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Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle

LAM ZHOU HANDMADE NOODLE (144 East Broadway, between Pike street and East Broadway. Chinatown). $ 

After over 5 months, I am finally able to try out some new Noodle place in New York city. This afternoon I had lunch at Lam Zhou Handmade noodle. The noodles here are handmade in right in front of you. It can’t be any fresher. And even better, the fairly large bowls are very very cheap. I paid $6.00 for my roasted pork chop noodle bowl. Certainly not a romantic fine dining experience, but not bad at all considering it’s price. 

am-zhou-handmade-noodle-new-york

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Punjabi Grocery and Deli

PUNJABI GROCERY AND DELI (114 East 1st street, between 1st Avenue and Avenue A. East Village). $

This authentic Indian deli and takeout is definitely good value for money. A buffet of typical Indian dishes in rich and spicy flavors. There is no seating or service, but you can’t expect this for a $4 meal anyway. Would skip the naan. 

Punjabi Grocery and Deli New York

Punjabi Grocery and Deli New York

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Brunch @ Gansevoort Market

GANSEVOORT MARKET (52 Gansevoort street. Meatpacking District). $ 

Gansevoort Market New York Meatpacking District

A few weeks ago, the Gansevoort Market opened it’s doors in the Meatpacking district. The market is small but there is all kinds of food from different vendors; from Dojo sushi to Granola’s from Yiaourti, lobster rolls from Ed’s Lobster Bar, Italian deli’s from Cappone’s SalumeriaChampion coffee, crepes from Crepe Sucre, more sweets from the Gansevoort Bakery and more. 

Gansevoort Market New York Meatpacking District

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My Lower East Side (LES) Still To- Visit List (New York)

Lower East Side New York

Less than one month and I will be back in my favorite city. I did not even share all my food pictures of the 700+ restaurants I visited in this city so far but my “still to do list” keeps on growing and growing. Anyway, at the end of this month I’ll have 1.5 week to complete a little bit of this endless list. Yay! 

I’ll be staying in one of my favorite neighborhoods, the Lower East Side (check out my favorite LES spots so far here) so the majority of places I’ll eat and drink will most likely be located in the LES. No problem at all, because the Lower east side is a food walhalla full of cool and cozy restaurants, bakeries and bars. Oh help, I am already suffering from fumo again! Here is my LES and surroundings eat- options list so at least I know where to eat when in walking distance (as usual, I did read all of the reviews of the places that are listed below): 

Stay:

The last time I stayed at the Bowery Hotel. This hotel was fantaaaastic! My favorite hotel in New York City. I wish I could stay here again but I am on a tighter budget this time so I booked an Airbnb stay in the heart of the Lower East Side. I can recommend who doesn’t want to stay in a luxurious hotel anyone to hire via Airbnb, it’s most of the time significantly cheaper than a hotel. But do read the reviews on forehand. 

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